Willie Phoenix
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Willie Phoenix

Columbus, OH | SELF

Columbus, OH | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Music

Press


"Capital City Gypsy Blues The well-traveled genius of Willie Phoenix"

....The Phoenix process is as diverse as his musical path, one of the most fascinating and organic careers in the Columbus music scene. A central Ohio fixture for three decades, Phoenix has steadfastly followed his own beat: a primal blues foundation upholding psychedelic pop persuasions. His music is a colorful adaptation of idols like Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton. The latter half of this decade has seen the output of strong releases like Plastic Blues and Grooves and Revolution in the Basement, drawing on a century's worth of blues stylistics while maintaining the garage-y swagger and pop dynamics that have made Phoenix such a formidable presence.... - 614 Magazine


"North by Northeast Show June 2006"

......Second prize: The kinetic Ohio bluesman Willie Phoenix's set Saturday at the Black Bull, where cellphone cameras hastily captured hijinks. Phoenix displayed a fondness for Bo Diddley and Jimi Hendrix while seizing an audience with guitar-humping and table-hopping. - The Globe and Mail (Toronto Canada)


"CD Review-Plastic Blues and Grooves"

On this CD Willie has Hendrix, Santana,Cream,The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The 60's British Blues Scene, and mixed and matched in a present day setting. He's moulded classic '60's guitar riffs, which he plays with skill and passion,with lyrics that go from intensly profound on one track to the more commercially accessible the next. If anyone has grasped the true ethos and roots of '60s music, it is Willie Phoenix on this CD. - Blues Matters (UK)


"CD Review Plastic Blues and Grooves"

With Willie Phoenix you get blues, soul, rock and groove. Each song of this roots rocker captivates and surprises. His new album, "Plastic Blues and Grooves" transcends you into a psychedelic universe worthy of the Woodstock era or the shows of Otis Redding. In addition to the soul genius, also discover an artist clearly engaged in a message of peace and anti-war activism. - ABANA Magazine (France) (Apr 21, 2008)


"CD Review Plastic Blues and Grooves"

Willie Phoenix: flashes of Jimi

Willie Phoenix a guitarist who is doing his Hendrix thing...without really trying to

Zack Teibloom

He’s not Jimi Hendrix. To be fair, no one is, or can be. It’s an impossible comparison to live up to. But when you have a song like “English Tea” and your first and last name have the same suffix as the legendary guitarist, perhaps it’s inevitable.

The singer/guitarist’s given name is Willie Creagh, but the way he tells it, “At one point I was thinking, maybe my name should be something like John Fire. I picked up the moniker of Phoenix from a movie. The ‘ix’ from Hendrix never crossed my mind” he said to College News.

Aside from the name thing, a quick listen to “English Tea” leads to the direct comparison. The fuzzy, blues guitar is a start. The swirling pedal effects also help. The fact that he name-drops “Jimi” in the lyrics makes a direct comparison downright assured.

At a time when bands are constantly pulling from the style of 60s classics like The Beatles and The Grateful Dead, it’s surprising that there aren’t more Hendrix wannabes. I tell Phoenix he reminds me of Jimi and he says he’s heard it before a number of times, but knows it’s not something he’ll ever be.

“Thanks for the comparison, but we all know there’s only one Jimi,” he tells me.

Willie plays in a four piece and spices up the sound with a conga and a regular drum kit, giving them a touch of Latin percussion. His latest album, Plastic Blues came out at the beginning of 2008 and Willie’s been working on a possible double album for 2009. He says he has 32 songs he’s been mastering.

While “English Tea” has a 60s psychedelic sound, a lot of the album is more of a bluesy sound. Hearing Willie describe what his influences are, one gets the sense that Phoenix is a man who loves his blues-rock.

“I love for instance, yes, I love Hendrix, Cream, Buddy Miles’ Electric Flag, a lot of those bands from the 60s, period. I think the time for the art was so fertile, so ripe. From every indication, it was a magical time.” - College News


"CD Review- Plastic Blues and Grooves"

WILLIE PHOENIX’ New Album: Already LOVE IT?.. You’ve GOT IT!

Dare to imagine Jimi, Santana, Cream, Stones, Beatles, all in one voice and ten fingers, and you already love Willie Phoenix and his new album Plastic Blues And Grooves! It rocks, it funks, it grooves and, naturally, it blues! But the best news is that for 15 days, from December 3 to December 17, all 15 tunes of the album are on the Midnight Special Blues Radio playlist 24 hours a day! Tune in - and good BUY! ;)) - Blues Rocks The World Magazine


"Live Show 1995"

"Phoenix is dynamic, intelligent and interesting. He has a certain quiet attitude that contrasts the explosive performer he really is……on stage he is a patriot missile ready to strike." - The Ohio State Lantern


"CD Review- Plastic Blues and Grooves"

Why isn't this local bluesman famous?
This time out, the Columbus-based bluesman does a Jimi Hendrix and
gussies up the blues something fierce. Or, if you like, he takes a number of genres and runs them through the Delta. Either way, it's a disc called Plastic Blues and Grooves, and it's laced like the finest acid—that is, with bits of English pop, garage stomps and nifty little melodic hooks, as well as the occasional cheesy fuzz guitar reminiscent of Canned Heat.

Phoenix does on Plastic what a lot of musicians can't ever do in the studio: transferring his considerable live charisma-into something often quite meaningful on tape. - The Other Paper- John Petric


"Blues Reaction CD Review"

Willie is a treasure (hopefully not hidden for much longer)

Love the variety of material – you get the acoustic stomp of the opener and two closers, the Hound Dog Taylor-style boogie of Pills and Whiskey and Leopard Skin Seated Cadillac, the distinctly individualistic (and rocking) nonblues of The Sun and Soldier’s Song, and the modified Bo Diddley on Limousine. Add to those a minor key blues, a great Waters rewrite, and some other strong alterna-blues, and you definitely have a winner. Willie plays and sings in a soulful roar; both his voice and guitar are flexible enough to work within the wide of variety of material. Plentiful and rich playing loaded with feeling. I'm thankful to have heard Willie, especially this great new album.
- CD Baby Reviewer


"Live Show 2000"

Described as a "... a raging guitarist with a ton of attitude and stage presence." - Graffiti


Discography

Current CD Releases
Magic Black Umbrella (2011)
Revolution in the Basement (2009, Junkyard Cat)
From The Vault Vol. I (2009, Junkyard Cat)
Plastic Blues and Grooves (2007, Junkyard Cat)
Mojo 6 - (2005)
Quick n' Dirty (2005)
Blues Reaction (2004, Junkyard Cat)

Photos

Bio

Birthplace: Camden, Alabama

Current Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Influences:
A fusion of blues, soul, and rock influences- 60’s british blues (Yardbirds and Cream) to American psychedelic rock (Jimi Hendrix).

Unique Characteristics:
Willie is a big time concert performer who is known for his legendary performances throughout the midwestern U.S.A. He is charismatic showman who will simply rock you! Graffiti, a regional newspaper in West Virginia described Willie as a "....raging guitarist with a ton of attitude and stage presence." His juiced up versions of classic blues tunes performed in his live show are also something that should not be missed.

As an artist, he is a prolific songwriter who writes at least four songs to every one included on his CD releases (averages one CD release per year). Writes moving and soulful songs with infectious hooks.

As a musician, he's a talented guitarist who plays with great feel and intensity. He was taught to play guitar by his father and bluesman the Reverend Willie J. Creagh, who played with such legends as Muddy Waters, Little Walter, and Sonny Boy Williamson 2 (Willie Jr’s Godfather). I guess good genes are the secret.

Target Audience: Mainstream
-Blues Fans because he represents the real thing and always is true to his roots by honoring some of the great bluesman with covering songs in his live shows and CD releases.
-College crowd because they say he’s cool and rocks out!
-Suburban yuppies because they've never seen anything like him before.